Here are some valuable tips for individuals who struggle with memorizing music and experience anxiety…
Background on courses
This composition is part of the level 1 guitar course. In each level, at the Creative Guitar School here in Sydney and Wollongong we learn to play the guitar in different scenarios or situations.
We learn to play along with the original tracks
We learn to play along to the original videos of songs we love, but focusing on our role as a guitarist. A Guitarist can play rhythm, fills or lead guitar. Throughout all levels, we learn new skills to help us develop our functions, or roles, in live music situations.
We learn to emulate the live context in our study, to increase learning efficiency
However, music has to be learnt in a musical context, that must have a beginning, end, and a tempo. We need to coordinate, to develop our motor skills, anticipating what we have to do, in relation to a specific time frame.
We learn to sing what we hear, to memorise the sound and note positions more efficiently
We will remember what to do on the guitar at all levels, because we are anticipating the sound of what we will play. The rule is that if you can sing it, you will be able to play it. There fore, we sing, even if we are out of tune, what we play. We cannot learn to play the guitar by visually memorising what we have to do, which in popular terms in called muscle memory. This is very time consuming and foments dangerous repetitive moments .
We learn to play songs together as in a band situation
In our guitar courses, we also learn to play songs, together, in groups. That is, since we are learning in groups, we can then distribute the functions of the song between us. In a band there is a bass player, a drummer, a guitarist defining the groove with chords, and the lead vocalist.
In all our group learning , we also play songs, where one guitarist defines the groove in a manner as a bass player would, another defines the chords, as a guitarist would do in a band situation, and the other plays what the vocalist would sing.
That is why the importance of setting the exact context correctly: to learn efficiently and achieve the most satisfactory results in the shortest time possible. This exercise, as detailed later will guide you through this learning process.
We learn to play songs as a solo guitarist
Romance Anonimo falls into the category of playing both the lead, the vocal line and the chords at the same time. Some guitarists call this classical guitar, and it can also relate to fingerstyle guitar. This is another form a playing, we learn in all my structured learning courses.
This is the sheet we will use to learn this song called Romance Anonimo. The numbers represent the fret, where one of your left hand fingers, must be placed on. The numbers also give the cue: when to play the note.
We will learn the song slowly, always at a constant tempo, and singing what we are playing.
If you do not play in tempo, you are learning how to play without tempo. If you do not sing, even if such is out of tune, you will relate the position to a number, to a visual cue, and you will loose the opportunity of memorising sounds, which is what music is about.
Context, what to do , instructions.
The context defines what, and when we play.
- We will set the metronome at 6o bpm. This indicates that we have to do something with this pulse. The initial instructions are to say a number every 3 pulses or beats.
Remember, from now on and for the rest of your musical life, you must establish the beat before you play. This will save you hundreds of hours of learning.
- Please count three, and on very one you will say the number, in sequence, as you will hear in the video, all the way up until, you read the word Am.
- Now that we have read the numbers, anticipating what comes next, we need to relate these numbers to the fret board. Please place one of your left hand fingers, on the fret board, on the first string, on the fret indicated. This first number indicates that we will place our finger on the 7th fret.
- Let’s count three beats, in sync with the metronome, and play these numbers, one every three clicks.
Remember, you are creating the sound by both placing your finger on the corresponding fret and hitting the string with your other hand, to actually produce the sound.
We play Romance Anonimoas follows:
Please say what you are doing, sing what you doing , and keep in sync with the metronome.
The common error is not to for-see the following fret number we have to play. We solve this by looking at the next number, we have to play on the guitar, on the third beat of each bar or click of the metronome.
Use this check list to judge if are you learning Romance Anonimo:
- Have you counted it in?
- Are you saying what you have to do ?
- Are you singing the notes you are playing ?
- Are you not stopping ?
- Are you checking every third beat what you have to do ?
If you are not following these instructions, you will not learn and possibly repeat endlessly with frustration.
If you follow these instructions, you will play the sequence in three repetitions.
However, sometimes we have trained ourselves in our lives, to not follow a specific thought process and you will find this process hard to achieve.
Do not worry
Just do it, and only ask yourself the outlined questions .
At this stage there is no need to worry to much about the sound , or what fingers to use. We will work on other variables as we progress.
I find a lot of students, that when they play in my suggested manner, get distracted by other thoughts. These other thoughts are valuable, but they should not be a distraction to achieve a goal,
What are we learning
- With this simple exercise on Romance Anonimo we are learning to think in music, which means to choose what we focus one.
- We also learn to play and synchronise to a time frame, which is a beat.
- We learn to only develop our skills based upon a time frame.
- You are also learning to avoid unnecessary repetition.
- You are also learning to anticipate sounds and their location.
This is the first lesson of how to play Romance Anonimo
In our next lesson, we will learn how to play the second part of this guitar composition, and also learn how to further acquire guitar skills which will make us independent in our learning, and avoid frustration, with the consequence of developing personal well being, which is the ultimate goal.